It'll still be a while before you can walk into Willard Library and check out a book or movie, but at least there's a plan in motion.    On Monday, June 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that allows libraries to open Monday, June 8, after being closed for COVID-19, subject to guidelines established in previous executive orders.

Willard Library staff will start to return on-site on  Monday, June 8th.   Public Relations Librarian Kristine Pioch says they won't bring the whole staff in at once, but will probably stagger personnel for a while, as they work to  check-in materials that have been returned during the past three months, ready the facility, and prepare for contactless curbside service.  "We usually figure that 30% of the library's materials are checked out at any one time, so you can imagine how much our staff will need to put back on the shelves," said Pioch.   She said the library will have a different look, as they install sneeze guards, and space tables and chairs differently.

Pioch says it'll take a week or two to get things ready, and that the next step will be to begin curbside service later in June.   Patrons will be able to put a hold on books, and then be notified when they may be picked up at the library.

Cathy Lucas-Willard Library
Cathy Lucas-Willard Library

“We know that everyone is excited to return to the library, and so are we!  Our staff have worked hard on a phased reopening to the public, and we have appreciated your patience. We have missed seeing all of you and look forward to beginning by providing curbside service in the next few weeks,” Willard Library Director Cathy Lucas said.

Willard Library  will continue to phase in services gradually following the opening of curbside service consistent with executive orders, OSHA standards, and public health guidelines. The health and safety of our guests and staff members is our highest priority so please expect some new procedures when the library reopens.

Updates will be shared on Willard’s social media pages and website.

Anyone with questions may email    Starting on June 8th, you can call the Library at 269-968-8166, ext. 513.

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